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NFL players scared of fantasy fans' Twitter threats

Some fantasy fans lob threats at football players in real life and even demand money for bets they've lost in their fantasy league.

Justin Tucker shortly after making a 61-yard field goal and shortly before being told to kill himself.
Jeff BAker/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's not easy when someone tells you their woe is your fault.

Sometimes, you know it's their fault, but you can't find a way of telling them. Sometimes, these people need deep and serious treatment because their view of reality has become distorted.

One such case, certain fantasy football players have lost touch with reality. They seem to think that there's no fantasy. They believe that everything is for real. They believe that if a player lets them down, that player should pay.

As CBS Detroit reported Thursday, certain fantasists can't take losing. Yes, they handle losing even worse than Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Des Bryant.

However, instead of storming off and sulking when losing a matchup, they find themselves a suitable scapegoat: the player who has allegedly let them down.

Should you have never been involved in fantasy sports, essentially you pick certain players every week and you score points depending on how these players perform. Your team of players needs to score more points than the team you're matched up against that week.

Some people actually bet money that their team will do well. You know what happens when people bet money and lose: yes, they emit spittle and throw things. Or worse, they go on Twitter and make threats.

CBS Detroit collected some quite staggering tweets, such as one suggesting to Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker that he kill himself. Well, he had just kicked six field goals.

Some players receive tweets demanding they pay the money that fantasy players have lost. A sample sent to two Detroit Lions players this week: "@Bigplaycj @RayRice27 you 2 bums cost me $800 bc yall got outscored by a kicker.. yall owe me $800 since yall suck."

As Detroit Lions return man Jeremy Ross told CBS Detroit: "I didn't ask you to put 800 bucks into a fantasy league. That's all your fault. That's your fault. I'm playing football. That's your fault that you're betting on me."

New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs once received this tweet before a game: "ON LIFE BRANDON IF YOU DON'T RUSH FOR 50 YARDS AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS TONIGHT ITS OVER FOR YOU AND YO FAMILY N---."

Some might say that players should be used to having abuse hurled at them. It's part of the supposed charm of sports. Yet when it devolves into threats of violence against them and their families, is it any surprise that some are alarmed?

Some say they just shut down their Twitter accounts. Others don't go near Twitter at all.

But what if, one day, the threats of violence becomes actual? All over a game played online that is based on nothing other than fantasy.

Jacobs, for one, thinks it's all gone far beyond the boundaries of a game. As he told the New York Daily News back in October: "That's all people ever talk about. You sit down to eat at a restaurant and people say, 'Hey you, I got you on my fantasy team, you gotta do something for me.'"

In fact, he doesn't have to do anything for you at all.